Muskegon Interpretive Materials

Potential for Shipwreck Nature Preserve Development

Potential for park development: Major user groups for established shipwreck park will include the sport diving community, charter diving services, and tourism industry in general that seeks to promote new recreational and educational opportunities for visitors.  As with land based parks, user groups have expectations while visting a park site.  It is now common practice to provide lcoation marker buoys and other enhancements such as underwater plaques, brochures, laminated underwater guides, and land based interpretive centers. 

Proximity to state or federal agencies: The Muskegon (Peerless) is a few miles away from Michigan City and close to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, therefore making it near shore and easy to monitor from land. 

Current demands on the resource: Eight dive shops indicate they utilize Indiana shipwrekcs for recreational diving, with the Muskegon (Peerless) being a common dive site. Both and Illinois and Michigan have active diving on Indiana's adjacent borders, with potential for increased use of Indiana historic shipwrecks. 

Potential recreational value: Indiana currently has twenty eight full time dive shops with eight dive shops indicating that they already promote and/or conduct dive charters to Indiana Lake Michigan waters.  Personal communications with dive operators indicate that the Muskegon (Peerless) is a commonly frequented dive site during the summer season (late May to early September).  According to a recent Michigan Sea Grant study, in two years, at least 6,000 divers spending approximately $250 each in the community, have visited eight of the Michigan preserves.  Interpretation and site enhancement of Indiana historic shipwrekcs will significanlty increase their recreational value, and provide additional site protection and economic benefit to the local community. 

Nearby land sites for interpretive materials: In its 2182 acres, Indiana Dunes State Park has playgrounds, picnic shelters, restrooms, beaches, swimming areas, and the Dunes Pavilion.  Operated by Indiana DNR, the State Park could provide interpretive materials, exhibits, and shore observation points.  Indiana DNR could collaborate with Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore the encompasses 14,100 acres of federal land and could provide facilities for land based interpretive materials.  The original Michigan City Light House can be seen from the Muskegon (Peerless), and this site and/or the nearby Michigan City Light House Museum should be encouraged to promote Indiana's maritime history, as exemplified by Indiana historic shipwrecks. 

Return to Muskegon Home Page